[Question #6098] HSV-2 Concerns

19 months ago

Hi there. I am a male and I had unprotected oral sex, both giving and receiving for a brief few minutes, as well as protected vaginal sex using a condom correctly, for a brief few minutes (not sure time really matters here) with a private sex worker. The incident was 12 weeks ago. I tested positive for HSV2 (negative for HSV1) at 4 weeks post exposure with an IGG number of 1.35 and tested again at 6 weeks post exposure with a number of 1.26 have not tested again. From my readings here on the forum I am aware that the next step should be a confirmatory test using the western blot. Is this correct? I have had no symptoms at all thus far. A few questions if I could....


  1. Is it possible in this one brief encounter having used a condom I could have contracted HSV2?  
  2. With a low positive number I realise it could be a false positive. If this is not the case, and I am indeed a carrier of HSV2, am I to assume this is a new infection and I am in the process of seroconversion? Or is there anyway this could be an older infection which I have had for some time....or would my index levels need to be much higher if that were the case? 
  3. Again if I am truly positive can I pass along HSV2 to someone if they were to perform oral sex on me? Asymptomatic or otherwise? And would they then develop sores in their mouth not the genital area? 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
19 months ago

  1. Is it possible in this one brief encounter having used a condom I could have contracted HSV2? 
While it is possible (condoms reduce transmission by 65%, female to male), it is extremely unlikely.

  1. With a low positive number I realise it could be a false positive. If this is not the case, and I am indeed a carrier of HSV2, am I to assume this is a new infection and I am in the process of seroconversion? Or is there anyway this could be an older infection which I have had for some time....or would my index levels need to be much higher if that were the case?
I doubt that you are still in the process of seroconversion as it has been 12 weeks.  However, some people just have a low index value and are truly infected, though this is uncommon.

  1. Again if I am truly positive can I pass along HSV2 to someone if they were to perform oral sex on me? Asymptomatic or otherwise? And would they then develop sores in their mouth not the genital area? 
This is also an unlikely scenario as HSV 2 does not like the oral area and rarely shows up there.  Is it possible?  Yes, again, very unlikely

What is likely is that this is a false positive.  At this index value, 85% of people who take the western blot will be negative on the blot while positive at this low index value

Terri
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